Spotted! Tangerine defies gravity at Yonge-Dundas

The bank has officially kicked off the media buy around its Toronto Raptors partnership.

A large, round, orange object that popped up in the middle of Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square last week might have looked like a tangerine from a distance.

Close – it was a giant basketball, but it was placed there by bank Tangerine.

The giant basketball, as well as other bright orange installations, kicked off Tangerine’s 20-year partnership with the Toronto Raptors. The week-long activation, from Oct. 15 to 19, coincided with the team’s home opener.

Nick Nelson, VP of marketing for Tangerine, explains that the giant basketball actually served as an anti-gravity booth (giving users a slight advantage when dunking), and was accompanied by an art installation composed entirely of basketballs, an on-site shop and a speaker’s corner where fans can record messages to the team. Those messages will be played in-arena throughout the season, Nelson says. Additionally, fans could enter contests for swag and tickets.

Throughout Tangerine’s efforts to closely associate the bank with the Raptors, the brand is keeping its own messaging to a minimum.

While the company’s “Forward Banking” slogan was present across activations, the content produced from the event will focus mainly on the fans. “The position we’re taking as a brand is around the lens of community,” says Nelson. “This was more about celebrating them. We recognize that while the team’s success will have ebbs and flows, players come and go, but this is a 20-year relationship, and we’re putting people in front of the brand.”

Nelson said Tangerine has gone full-force into its alignment with the team, launching separate social accounts for its basketball-related efforts (@TangerineHoops on Twitter and Instagram). Its media buy for the effort kicked off Oct. 17, with the first broadcast spot airing during the Raptors’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nelson said Tangerine will also invest heavily in digital and social for the sponsorship.

Tangerine worked with MKTG as its partner on the activation and partnership. PR was handled by Veritas and creative was led by John Street.